Gar­den needs love, at­ten­tion

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Local News - REXINE HAWES

The Mata­mata Com­mu­nity Gar­den on Pe­ria Rd was built for a pur­pose and is sus­tained by a prom­ise.

The late John Mott was ap­proached by the for­mer pas­tor of the Union Par­ish, his and wife Jan’s church, who had a vi­sion for a com­mu­nity gar­den in Mata­mata.

Jan said that John took it on, and with both hands.

‘‘He ded­i­cated all his time to it. It flour­ished and grew.’’

After John be­came ill, Jan promised him she would nur­ture the gar­dens.

‘‘...that as long as I could, with the help of oth­ers, I would keep it go­ing un­til such a time that I can’t.’’

And the fact that it’s still flour­ish­ing and John’s hard work is be­ing utilised, means the world to Jan.

‘‘It means ev­ery­thing - cause I know how much it meant to him.‘‘

While Jan loves tend­ing the gar­den and keep­ing John’s project alive - it’s still a hard labour - and one she wishes the com­mu­nity would as­sist in.

She wants the gar­den to be used, but it’s cur­rently be­ing abused.

At the mo­ment it is wa­tered and weeded by Jan and Mar­ian McCabe, with the church min­is­ter wa­ter­ing it as he can.

But it needs more hands - es­pe­cially over the summer when it’s par­tic­u­larly dry.

‘‘It would be nice if the peo­ple who come and take the veg­eta­bles could pick up the hose and wa­ter it - even just one box and pull up some weeds. It would make it so much eas­ier for us.’’

She said an­other chal­lenge they face is peo­ple cut­ting the head of the veg­etable and leav­ing the root. There is a com­post bin pro­vided for roots and weeds.

‘‘Once the plant is taken, the roots keep grow­ing and it’s a strug­gle to get them out. It’s just more work.’’ Theft is also a ma­jor prob­lem. Po­ta­toes were once planted, but they stopped the sup­ply after they were plun­dered way be­fore the night­shades were ready.

And they weren’t the only things taken.

Jan says they have been given a hose and reel and an au­to­mated wa­ter­ing sys­tem, but they can’t be left out be­cause they will get taken.

‘‘Any­thing we use pretty much has to be tied down, even the hose at­tach­ments will go miss­ing.

‘‘I want to en­cour­age peo­ple to use it - but look after it, so we can keep it go­ing.’’

Jan Mott loves tend­ing the com­mu­nity gar­den built by her late hus­band John, but it’s cur­rently be­ing used and abused.

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